Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland by Pasi Sahlberg (© 2010, Teachers College Press: New York, NY) is the story of Finland’s extraordinary reforms and one that should inform policymakers and educators around the world, most of whom are on the wrong track. Sahlberg has lived and studied these reforms for decades and is a clever and engaging story teller. Click below to purchase this book today, and share with your colleagues.
Pasi Sahlberg, PhD
- Pasi is Director General of the Center for International Mobility and Cooperation at the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (CIMO) and a member of the board of directors of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). For the last two decades has analyzed education reforms and worked with education leaders around the world. He trains teachers and leaders as an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu in Finland.
Forward by Andy Hargreaves
- Over the last 25 years the performance of American schools has steadily declined relative to international benchmarks. Meanwhile, reformers keep doing the same things. Force, pressure, shame, top-down intervention, competition, standardization, tests of dubious validity, easier passage into teaching, closure of failing schools, firing teachers and principals, and fresh starts with young teachers in new schools. Given this, there is no reason to expect Obama’s Race to the Top to succeed.
- Hargreaves warns us not to dismiss Finland’s success by using the excuse that we aren’t like Finland. He notes that in addition to being the leading authority on Finnish education, Sahlberg is also a world-ranking scholar with a world view developed by working at the World Bank and schools from many countries. It might be hard for some Americans to admit that someone else does education better, but they would all be wise to seriously consider the possibility.